Easy pickings? Aussie fruit farmers get energy saving grant

Picking the low-hanging fruit is becoming a bit of a cliche for energy users looking to save power – but it’s been given fresh meaning as an Australian fruit farming […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Picking the low-hanging fruit is becoming a bit of a cliche for energy users looking to save power – but it’s been given fresh meaning as an Australian fruit farming body has been given an energy grant to boost its members’ bottom lines.

Apple and Pear Australian Limited (APAL) won a A$636,970 (£387k) Energy Efficiency Information Grant to help fruit growers cut their energy costs by as much as 20%.

Australia’s Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism gave the grant – one of 18 it recently handed out – to assist Australian summer fruit, cherry, apple and pear growers make changes to cut greenhouse emissions.

Jon Durham, Managing Director at APAL said energy costs are the second largest faced by fruit growers with electricity costs totting up to 17% of total operating costs for orchards and pack houses.

The money will be used to hold 30 energy audits in 10 fruit producing regions across Australia to pinpoint energy saving opportunities, with findings shared with growers in workshops at pack houses around the country.

Mr Durham said: “Growers will be able to see first-hand where potential energy savings could be made and will contribute to reducing Australia’s environmental footprint – and that’s a win for all Australians.”